LIVE FUTURES REPORT 13/09: Fresh 12kt inflow tempers LME nickel price; copper remains supported

The three-month nickel price on the London Metal Exchange was lower during morning trading on Friday September 13, declining by around 2.7% against a fresh inflow of some 12,000 tonnes, while copper futures continued to trade in an uptrend.

Nickel futures were trading at around $17,500 per tonne on Friday morning, which is about 2.7% lower than Thursday’s closing price of $17,990 per tonne, and down by some 5% from Thursday’s intraday high of $18,400 per tonne.

Prompting the move lower, a fresh inflow of some 12,198 tonnes was delivered into predominantly European warehouses, with LME-registered warehouses in Vlissingen the recipient of some 10,000 tonnes, and Rotterdam another 1,000 tonnes.

This was partly offset by a fresh cancelation of around 6,000 tonnes out of Asian warehouses, namely in Johor and Kaohsiung, while on-warrant nickel stocks remain at their lowest since 2011 at 83,178 deliverable tonnes.

The fresh inflow this morning was also nickel’s largest single delivery since January 2016 and was prompted, in part, to nickel’s tight forward curve, with the metal’s benchmark cash/three-month recently trading in a backwardation of $163 per tonne, while its September/three-month was recently trading in a $220-per-tonne backwardation.

Elsewhere in the complex, the three-month copper price consolidated higher over the morning, reaching an intra-morning high of $5,900 per tonne and keeping just below that mark.

Volumes traded over the morning were low, with some 2,800 lots of copper exchanged as at 9.50am London time, which tops the complex.

Yet the red metal’s three-month price will have to breach the nearby resistance level to gain further support, according to Marex Spectron’s technical analyst James Dima.

“[LME copper is] approaching the 100-day moving-average at $5,925 per tonne. The market has not closed above this average since May 1; with a close above possibly attracting new longer term technical buying interest,” he said.

Other highlights

  • The dollar index was down over the morning, falling by 0.33% to 98.08.
  • In other commodities, Brent crude oil futures were down by 0.93% over the morning, dipping to $59.90 per barrel.
  • In European data on Thursday, the bloc’s main refinancing rate for the August period was flat at 0.00%.
  • Meanwhile, in US data on Thursday, the country’s consumer price index (CPI) month on month for the August period was in line with expectations with 0.1% gain, while its core CPI – which excludes the food and energy sector – over the same period was better than forecast at a 0.3% increase.
  • In data on Friday, the United States will release retail sales figures along with the University of Michigan’s preliminary readings of consumer sentiment and inflation expectations.